SAMMY KEYES AND THE SISTERS OF MERCY
Wendelelin Van Draanen
Available: hardcopy, paperback, Kindle, audio
This is the third book in the Sammy Keyes series.
Instead of serving detention at her junior high, Samantha "Sammy" Keyes is putting in twenty hours of community service at St. Mary's church after school. It's almost fun until Father Mayhew's valuable ivory cross is missing. At first he suspects her and she's banished to the soup kitchen. She has to clear her name and fast. Then other things go missing and she's on the case with a whole bunch of suspects to choose from. The church's regular staff, a group of traveling gospel singing nuns, a homeless girl, and a carrot eating dog who devours everything in sight. What's really weird is that as she investigates she realizes that St. Mary's is a lot like junior high with its gossip, jealousies, secrets, and cliques. Things aren't perfect at school either. Her softball team is in the middle of the final playoffs. Someone has taken her catcher's mitt. It's the only thing she has of her fathers. Its theft is more than a little upsetting and threatens to affect her game.
Although the mystery is a little predictable, it's fun. Full of quirky characters sure to keep a smile on any reader's face. You can't help cheering for Sammy as she battles tween angst and at the same time tracks down the thieves at both school and St Mary's.